Things I Wish I Could Change About Myself

It’s such a dramatic post title, right?

Or not.

For the past few weeks, I’ve put myself through a pretty significant amount of self-inflicted Ali Bashing. I am — and have always been — exceptionally tough on myself. And lately, man, I am just not giving myself a break.

Since leaving the hospital back around Labor Day and essentially re-starting my year as a healthy human, my body has changed somewhat dramatically. Basically, it started functioning like a normal person’s body. And apparently I had forgotten what that’s like. Suddenly, I was eating food — and it was staying in me for more than five minutes. I was so excited to get back to this normal lifestyle that I really started eating food. Every food I could find.

This was the dessert at the wedding I went to this past weekend: “Cannoli nachos.” Probably the most awesome dessert ever.

In the past month and a half, I’ve attended three weddings, gone on two work trips and hit up one bachelorette party in Las Vegas. With the exception of some wine at one wedding and in Vegas, I haven’t been drinking, but I’ve been gorging on food in portions that are probably not deemed acceptable by any suggested serving size.

Fish tacos!!!!!!!!!!

At the same time, life at work has spun just a little out of control. The hours are getting longer, the days are more stressful and I always have this feeling that I’m running out of time.

Hanging out on set in L.A. with the phenomenal Mia Michaels. Also, I’m wearing that same dress today.

I gave up strength training in favor of running more miles to prepare for the marathon, and unsurprisingly my arms and stomach are bulking up in the non-muscular way.

So yeah, I beat myself up a little about this stuff. My clothes fit differently these days, and I’m not thrilled to be going into the marathon carrying some extra pounds. I doubt those will help me up that Fifth Avenue stretch at mile 22.

This is the chalk finish line in Central Park. The real one will be slightly more impressive.

But being hard on myself as my body is adjusting to actually being healthy gets a little old. I know that once the marathon is over I can return to my beloved Chisel class and start lifting heavy stuff again, instead of just lifting entire bread baskets into my face. Plus, I know I’d rather be healthy and functioning than sickly and miserable.

Instead of being all “I want to be rich and I want awesome abs and I want more time in the day,” I have decided to play a light-hearted little game called “Other things I wish I could change about myself.”

It’s fun. You can play, too.

IRRELEVANT & UNRELATED PHOTO OF TYLER. This is my new favorite picture. He’s wearing his blanket as a cape. Superhero in the making, right there.

I wish I didn’t cry so easily. At movies, both happy and sad. On the subway, when I think of something sad. When I really really really care about something. Basically, I cry at everything. Ick.

It would be nice to have better skin. I don’t get zits or cute little blackheads on my nose. I get mountains. They’re so scary. Also, I have this habit of “thinking” I’m getting a zit, so I pick at my face until it’s all red and tragic-looking. You’d think I would have outgrown that habit in my teen years and after reading a million women’s magazines every month that say “stop picking at your face.” But no. That lesson is lost on me.

I wish I could better recognize what’s worth my anxiety and what’s not — before the inevitable freakout occurs. I think Brian wishes this for me, too. When I’m in the heat of the moment, every single thing is worth a spaz-fest. Examples include SeamlessWeb not loading my order fast enough, the subway being more than 3 minutes away (that’s forever in NYC underground time, people) and Brian telling me he “doesn’t care” what we have for dinner. How can you not care what we have for dinner? Dinner is such an amazing meal. I’m working on figuring out which of these things are actually not a big deal. (All of them. I know the answer is all of them. I swear I’m a super-chill person.)

ANOTHER TYLER PHOTO!!! How did that get there?

I wish the endurance that carries me through a marathon could also get me up a dang flight of subway stairs. Why why why can I run 20 miles and feel great afterward, but I simply cannot power through the turnstiles and up onto the street without completely losing my breath?

I wish I looked more natural walking in heels.

This is my friend, Statue Man. This photo is relevant because in it, I am wearing heels.

I always think I’ve got it down as I’m strutting down 7th Avenue to grab lunch…and then I catch my bent-kneed, bow-legged Mariah Carey-esque reflection in a bank window. It’s like I’m stomping around trying to create potholes with my feet. But whatever. At least in my head I’ve got it going on.

I would like not to be covered in chafe scars. I realize the sheer sexiness of that statement. I’m fine with the giant scar on my knee from that time I was standing still and fell off my bike. That at least makes me laugh. But the sports bra burns on my back and chest? Those are not quite as badass. Or funny. In fact, they’re straight-up ugly, and I could do without them. (And yes, I’m well aware of Body Glide, and I love that stuff. Still happens sometimes, though.)

I want to be able to carry a tune.

Celine, you are such a goddess. Teach me all your ways.

Don’t get me wrong, I can karaoke the shit out of several Celine Dion classics and one or two Whitney Houston jams. Just ask Brian: I practice every night and let my yowling echo throughout the Upper East Side. But I’d like a wider vocal range. My voice sucks. I don’t even do the “om” chant at the end of a yoga class, both because it makes me feel weird and because I don’t want the instructor stopping class to find the loudly dying manatee in the room. I also frequently manage to butcher “Happy Birthday” and the Hanukkah prayer. It would be cool to be a little less manatee and a little more songbirdy.

I’d like to be more comfortable outside my comfort zone. I hate it there. And I bet I could be a faster runner if I were willing to get a little more uncomfortable a lot more often. Sooo who wants to come push my lazy butt around a track?

Just once in life, I want to watch a movie — or even a sitcom or YouTube video — at home and stay awake for it.

Hey Brian, you little shit: You take pictures of me passed out, I’ll post them for the world to see. I WIN. Sorry I sleep through everything though. I swear I’m actually enjoying this book I’m reading right now…

This trait comes from my mom. I’m all, “Yes, I’ve been dying to see this awesome new movie, let’s totally watch it!” And the next thing you know, I’m zonked out and probably snoring, twitching and sleep-eating. It doesn’t matter the time of day or if I’m upright on the couch or laying down in bed. I simply cannot keep my eyes open for the duration of a film if I’m in the comfort of my own home.

So those are just a few little things I’d adjust about myself.

SERIOUSLY, IT’S FUN, TRY IT: What would you change about yourself? Go for the non-serious stuff. It’s more pleasant than the “I wish I could resist a cheeseburger covered in brownies” stuff. And is it just me or does that sound oddly good…? No? No one. Fine, more for me, then.



53 Responses

  1. I’m SO with you there on the staying awake thing! I wonder if it’s Crohn’s related. By 7pm i’m ready to curl up and sleep. I try so HARD to stay up for a date night movie in after the litte one goes to sleep..but it’s so freakin’ HARD!!!!!! Even if I really did want to see the movie. 🙁

  2. Great list. Some really funny stuff in there (almost all of which I could work on too). Case in point, I wish I didn’t sing like a manatee either, but what the hell, I still bust out in show tunes. I also fall asleep, sitting up, while watching movies, and then I pretend to the Hubby I’m still awake and fully engaged. Who does that?
    Way to be able to laugh at yourself and confront your “issues.” It’s way more than most people can do, so give yourself a pat on the back….if you are awake long enough to do it.

  3. I wish I could change the anxiety that I get when people are rushing to get in a closing subway door! But when they pull the doors open, I give them the dirtiest look. Not ok to waste my time!

  4. Ok, I’ll try that too !
    I’ll definitely take the “more comfortable outside my comfort zone”. I also would love being able to stop crying like a baby… It seems to me that I translate most of my emotions with tears (anger, frustration…). I thought I was just not strong enough…
    I wish I were more flexible with things and people.
    I would like to be more confident in myself.
    And, I would love to stop overthinking ALL THE TIME. It’s tiring. Me and “spontaneous”… totally opposite !

  5. I wish I could change the way I deal with things. Even when I start to improve in my life, I automatically assume it’s just going to get worse. I’m constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and I dislike that about myself because it’s just unnecessary negativity.

    I also wish I didn’t have Crohns, but that’s a given 😛

    Superficially, I wish I were taller and didn’t have permabags under my eyes.

  6. Why do runners get winded going up any stairs? I feel, scientifically and biologically, this makes absolutely no sense. But I am only a “10K” fake runner and you’re like, a marathon runner, so I suppose I shouldn’t feel so bad… Thanks for the light heartedness. Every strong women has to beat herself up from time to time but you are still beautiful in many people’s eyes. (Especially Tylers!)

  7. I can’t even stay awake for a movie in the theaters. Not even one I’ve been SO EXCITED to see like the latest Step Up because I have the best taste in movies ever. 😉 Also, I cry at everything. Today I cried picking out a birthday card.

  8. Agreed. I wish the chafing would go away cuz it’s gross. My skin is a mess and my anxiety is over the charts. I’m exhausted. I cry all the time and I wish we could get this marathon over with so I can stopping feeling so fluffy in the middle.

  9. I wish I could grow hair faster.

    Correction, I wish I could grow the hair on my head faster.

    Correction, I wish I could grow the hair that I want to be longer (eyebrows and faint-but-I-fear-it-will-get-creepy-as-I-get-older blonde mustache need not apply) on my head faster.

  10. Totally with you on the stairs front- I come out of the station panting every morning!

    I have put a picture of a giraffe on my blog for you today. I saw it this morning on a Nature Drive and it made me think of you and your love of all giraffes!

  11. Love this…especially the heels. I’ve given them up, I just can’t be bothered any more to teeter along awkwardly.
    I wish…my boobs were ever so slightly bigger, and the same size. I wish…I wasn’t such a fast eater, it’s embarrassing. i wish…I liked beer because it looks like such a nice drink for a hot day but it tastes like foulness!

  12. I wish I could also run up the stairs. Stairs are WAY harder than a marathon. Why? I also wish I could stop quoting Friends episodes among people that I know don’t get it.

  13. I wish I wasn’t always 25 minutes early for absolutely everything. It’s a habit my dad instilled in me at an early age and, while I appreciate that I’m always on time, I hate that I nearly always have a half hour to kill. You’d think after 27 years of this, I’d be able to get it just right, but no.

  14. I wish I could change the way I have awkward pauses in a conversation. I’ll pause, and you’ll swear I’m looking for a very important word, but then the most generic word ever comes out of my mouth. “You know, I just don’t like when things……………..are boring.”

  15. I wish I didn’t cry at everything, too! I always cried on the last day of school (no clue why…), always cry in movies, even cry at a good hallmark card or inspiring song!

  16. That picture of your manfriend just made me laugh out loud – actually though, not just like, lol. Definitely agree with so many of these points — including the anxiety and even the skin. It’s not my fault they WANT to be picked.

  17. I relate to so many things in this post! Especially the metro (or any) stairs! I have noticed being less out of breath after getting into more cross-training, though. Not sure if that’s because my legs are stronger or what.

    Most importantly, though, I need to have your dress. It’s just adorable. Love!

  18. Oh my gosh, I’m a total freak-outer too. (Yeah, just made up a word.)

    I often freak out over things that people say, only to find out I’m freaking out over nothing. I’m a words person, so LOTS of times it’s a crazy subtle difference in the words they chose that I assume means something tragic. If I ask, “Do you want to go get ice cream?” and the answer I get is “sure” instead of “yes,” I can convince myself that they are just going to placate me and they don’t really want to go. No joke. Please make it stop.

    1. I DO THIS TOO! The worst trigger phrase for me is “Yeah, that’s fine”. When something is “fine,” it is usually because it’s not at all fine!!!!! AGHHHHH!!!!!!!! And don’t even get me STARTED on tone of voice. Holy hell.

  19. Ahahahaa, you are SO right about subway stairs. They’re brutal. When I lived there I would try to pretend I wasn’t out of breath at all once I got to the street, and then when I was sure no one was looking I’d start gasping for air. Not sure why I cared so much.

  20. I wish that I would realize I’m wearing a pink sweater before I leave the house with my pink jacket on — now I have to keep the jacket zipped when I’m outside or risk looking like “that” person. 🙂

    I also wish that I didn’t have such an aversion to shoes that are not sneakers — they just never feel comfortable and I refuse to wear them if I’m not at work, which doesn’t make for the best look when I’m out and about sometimes.

    I wish my face was a little less full. I like the way I look, don’t get me wrong, but I always want to get a very short haircut, but then I would just be all cheeks and my face would look like a ball.

    I wish I wouldn’t get frustrated with having long hair, so that that I wouldn’t covet cool rocker hair cuts.

    That is all….

    Oh, you may want to try the new Body Glide Skin Glide — it comes in a tube and applies like lotion but dries and feels like regular Bodgy Glide. It may be easier to apply to some of the parts where you chafe.

  21. I wish that I weren’t such a klutz. It seems like I am always nursing a bruise from tripping, falling on the stairs (up, down, doesn’t matter), walking into walls, etc. I also wish I could walk better in heels, or that I would at least which pairs of heels are a pain in the butt to walk in and not wear those shoes on days when I have to do a lot of walking.

  22. Not going to lie I was a bit afraid to read this post since I do not like to think about self-loathing or what I would like to change about myself, so I am glad they were non-serious for the most part.

  23. I am totally sending this post to my boyfriend because he complains ALL the time about how I always fall asleep during movies. So glad I’m not the only one who conks out the second they sit down on the couch to watch a movie or TV show! Oh, and I would totally kill my boyfriend if he took a picture of me sleeping, ha.

  24. My Husband always makes fun of my “going to bed to read” ie- going to bed – I always fall asleep in the middle of movies and even tv shows and the worst is when I’m a passenger in the car but have gotten better due too two things – I stopped the c affine addiction 2 years ago and I started knitting (I need my eyes open to do this… best of luck

  25. First of all the pictures of Tyler! Oh so precious!

    I can agree on so many things: the chafe scars – seriously I love body glide and I will think I am golden then get in the shower and ohhhhh ouch. Chafing.
    And strength training – I used to at least 3 days a week but my fall race schedule has been…intense week 6 and 4th half marathon this weekend…so I’ve been doing 1 day if that. Sad to see some of that hard worked muscle start to go away.
    I also used to be so proud of the fact that I could basically run in heels as well as sneakers, then enter running constantly and sorry heels you can stay lined up in my closet, and I definitely am not strutting around with as much ease these days.

  26. My skin is a HUGE issue. My older sister had bad acne and I always thanked whoever would listen that I never had it that bad. Sure I’d get one here and there in high school and college, but nothing bad. Then I turned 22 and everything changed. For the last 5 years I’ve struggled with my skin, bad breakouts, and never having clear skin, no matter what I do. I hate it.

  27. I don’t think I’ve ever watched a movie or tv show at home without falling asleep in the middle of it. It’s not just you, trust me.

  28. Oops! Didn’t mean to hit submit. This summer I got lectured from a 10 and 12 year old about falling asleep during a movie, two nights in a row. They were all “We’re NOT watching it again, so you have to watch it on your own to find out what happens.” Yeah, that actually happened.

  29. Stairs are a WHOLE different beast! I ran a half marathon last week and felt great after, but those stairs to get to the bathroom at work, whoa! Torture. And the sleeping through movies at home thing, yeah, GUILTY! This summer I got lectured by a

  30. I cry at everything too and I get out of breath going up the damn subway stairs too! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

    I wish I could give up candy! My candy cravings are out of control and the more I want to give it up the harder it is.

  31. i also wish I could wear heals. I used to be more comfortable in heals than in gym shoes. then I studied abroad in the land of cobblestone so I didn’t wear them, and then I broke my foot in this magical land, and before I knew it it was 9 months without heals and im stuck with the heals tolerance of an infant.

  32. This is fun! Here are mine!
    My hair: I have the worst hair in the world- it’s curly and frizzy and out of control. Gel doesn’t help. I have to straighten it if I want to look decent and that takes at least 45 minutes (more time to dry since I cannot blowdry it)
    Chafe scars: I get them on my chest where my sternum is. You can see them with any shirt I wear. Hooray. And yes, I do use body glide, even for 3 mile runs.
    Comparing myself to others: This just needs to stop. This does not help me in any way.
    Sugar cravings: I get these bad and pretty much daily and more times than not I give into them.
    Strength: wish I could be better at this one. I ended up doing a strength workout then I’m sore for a million days then I don’t do it again because i don’t want to be sore for running. Wahh.

  33. I wish the EXACT same things for myself as you, every single thing on the list is like you’re describing me except the chafing part. We are really scarily alike, except for your list-making Type-A-ness. Also, last year I gained weight going into my marathon. None of my jeans or dresses fit and most of my workout clothes didn’t either. I was too scared to try on the crops I wanted to wear to NYCM before hand because I wasn’t sure if they would fit. I had also stopped strength and ate lots of french toast and bagels, so I know how you feel. I promise things will get back to normal after the marathon when you resume your normal routine. You feel like you’ll never be able to get back to being yourself again, but you do. So try not to stress too much right now and enjoy your taper!

    1. OH also, I had the exact same picture. Me passed out and Andy smiling into the camera next to me. I accidentally deleted it and sobbed uncontrollably for 30 minute.

  34. Maybe you aren’t wearing the right size bra? Or the bras are old? I’ve only had a bra chafe once and I realized it was because it was an older bra. Bra chafing does not sound at all fun.

    Also- I tend to fall asleep to movies all the time. If my boyfriend and I start watching a movie after 7pm, I will fall asleep. No matter how much I like it or not.

  35. How could you not put “I wish I didn’t have Crohns” on this list????

    Love, love, love the pic of Tyler with the blanket over him. So cute!

    I wish I could find my “passion”. I hate my job and everyone keeps telling me to find my “passion” and do that. I don’t think I have a passion; except sleeping and lounging on the beach…but I don’t think I can do either of those professionally haha.

    1. Haha. I tried to keep it light-hearted! And, maybe this is something to write for another day: As much as I wish I didn’t have Crohn’s, it has brought me a lot of great things in life (wouldn’t have met Brian without it, awwww!). And I’ve met great people through having this lame disease. Also, I guess it’s never something I ever considered I could actually change about myself. Though my singing ability probably won’t change, either…

  36. I am SO with you on the crying thing. And the skin. And chafing and….well yeah, I think you get it. The chafing is the worst when you finish a run and you’re all, “I didn’t chafe at all!” but then you take a shower and you are definitely proven otherwise. Alas. Such is life. 😉

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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